Chanel's sun-kissed collection brings radiance to the runway.
Villa Noailles stands in the hills of Hyères in the South of France and celebrates its centenary this year. Built by art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles and designed by famed architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, it is a place of timeless modernity, a place of respite and inspiration for creatives – including Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself. Karl Lagerfeld also loved it there. He lovingly captured the Villa’s Bauhaus-inspired buildings and lush geometric gardens in a photo series in 1995. In 2010, Chanel became the main patron of Villa Noailles, supporting its permanent exhibition dedicated to the influential couple, who ran in circles that included luminaries like Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso.
All Chanel collections are inextricably linked to details from its storied past, and for Spring/Summer 2024, it was Villa Noailles that provided a rich jumping-off point for Virginie Viard. She began with its geometry, which influenced the asymmetrical cut of garments, as well as the checkered and striped patterns that matched and collided on an assortment of trim skirt suits and easy jersey separates. The villa’s “cubist chequered garden” and “sunken flower beds” brought vivid bursts of rainbow hues to the collection’s tweed ensembles, swimwear, coordinated separates, and beachy cover-ups. It had a resort feel, informed by a myriad of Bermuda shorts, neoprene suits, bathing suits, and babydoll dresses.
While minimalism has ruled the Spring/Summer 2024 season, Chanel stayed in its own lane, decorating surfaces with rainbow tweeds, fruit embroideries, sequined pockets, and maximal stripes and finishing it all with layered necklaces (some of which featured adorable nano bag charms). Lightness still permeated the looks, however. The lining was removed from jackets, epaulets were removed, waists were worn low, and footwear was mostly black flip-flops. This lightness is sure to appeal to Chanel’s well-heeled clientele, especially those who summer in fabulous places like the South of France.
All CHANEL collections are inextricably linked to details from its storied past, and for Spring/Summer 2024, it was Villa Noailles that provided a rich jumping-off point for Virginie Viard.